Free Resume Template Offers Terrific Framework


Tim Tyrell-Smith of Tim’sStrategy offers a wildly popular resume template as a free download (He offers an amazing array of other free tools for download, too). TimsStrategy.jpg He explains that job-seekers love the template because the vast array of samples out there on the Web is confusing. How does a job-seeker know which one to pick? I don’t think a week ever goes by without our getting an e-mail requesting: “Please send me a resume format.” The requesters don’t say, “please send me a collection of samples;” they want something concrete that doesn’t involve making a lot of choices. Tim’s template fills that bill beautifully. Tim also offers an excellent tutorial explaining how to turn his template into a resume. Resumes, of course, a very subjective, so we have a few thoughts on ways we might tweak or clarify parts of Tim’s template: Tim notes that a Career Summary section atop the resume should be written in first person “in a few brief, strong, and confident sentences.” True. An entire resume is written in an understood first person, but the actual first-person pronoun (I) is not used. He suggests next listing 6-10 Key Strengths. We get mixed reactions from hiring decision-makers about listing “disembodied” words like this because they lack context. If you list single words and phrases in a section like this, you may want to make sure you include substantiation — these strengths described in context — elsewhere in the resume. Sections like this are, of course, very important for loading a resume with those all-important keywords. Tim’s template has job-seekers list a company name first when the candidate has served in more than one position for that employer. As we outlined in yesterday’s post, even if the job-seeker worked in multiple positions for the same employer, position/job title should always come first (even if it means repeating the employer info when the job-seeker has indeed worked in more than one position for that employer). The hiring decision-maker will always look for titles first. In Tim’s template, dates of employment are tabbed to the right of the resume. We find it much easier for the reader if all the employment info, including the date, is together. We’ve written many, many times in this blog that a resume should be almost entirely accomplishments-driven; however, employers do want to see a brief statement of the scope of your responsibilities. Tim wisely suggests that “your responsibilities should be written in one or two short sentences to clarify the role played, departments managed, etc.” Just don’t get carried away with responsibilities when you need to focus on accomplishments. Tim includes a nice discussion of including dates in the Education section:
Do I include dates for my education? Since there is a problem with age discrimination in some parts of the world, including dates tells a hiring manager fairly quickly how old you are. My personal opinion is to leave the dates off if you are worried about it. Takes away the worry. And the truth is that your relative age will become obvious at the interview.
I would not worry about leaving dates of a college degree off the resume until the degree is older than about 10-15 years old.